“I really need yoga today,” Emily said quietly as she walked into the yoga room. The rest of the 5-8 year olds bustled into class excitedly and hopped onto their mats chattering away. But Emily’s usual determined nature wasn’t there. I could tell something was wrong. “Are you ok ?” I asked.
Up until this point in the term, Emily made it clear she didn’t like yoga, didn’t want to be there and was forced into it, by parents who thought it would be ‘good’ for her.
We’d battled through a few classes and tried different strategies. But she was holding out strongly. Until today.
I never did find out what had happened that day, but Emily let me in to her real world for a moment. One that had tough days and challenges and at 7 years old, despite all of the struggles she was having for independence, she knew the gift of yoga and how she would feel when she walked out.
For the first time, she said thank you at the end of class.
There are so many things to be grateful for as a children’s yoga teacher. The impact on children’s lives is immense. But the true gift is what you come away with yourself.
With gratitude to all the children’s yoga teachers who make a difference in children’s lives.
Shine Your Light,
Ideas for the Classroom
One of the best ways for children to end the yoga class or day at school is to share one thing they did well and one thing they are grateful for.
For younger children it can be as simple as a circle share, taking it in turns to say one thing they are grateful for. Once children can write, we LOVE a list :) Have them start a Gratitude Journal and make a list of all the things they are grateful for. Set a timer and go! Lastly, have them share 2 or 3 things they are thankful for with the person next to them (or the class, if it’s a small size). Expressing the things we are grateful for, connects children and teens with their hearts and those of others. It decreases stress, anxiety, leads to better sleep and better connections.
“ If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you…that will be enough.” ~~Meister Eckhart